Special Issue "Early-Life Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders in Later Life"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 January 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Valerie Verhasselt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
Interests: human milk; immune development; growth; allergy; immune tolerance
Dr. Lieke van den Elsen
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
Interests: early nutrition; metabolic health; immune development; gut microbiota

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Developmental Origins of Health and Disease concept recognises the importance of early nutrition for healthy metabolic programming. The amount, diversity and characteristics of the diet provided to the developing child are expected to imprint later metabolism by multiple pathways including macro- and micro-nutrients provision, appetite regulation, growth hormones supply, microbiota shaping, infection disease prevention and immune regulation. Currently, knowledge of the interplay between the diet and metabolism regulation has mostly been gathered from the adult. Future research needs to replace extrapolation from the adult with evidence gained in the newborn, as only this will allow the development of child-tailored approaches for metabolic disease prevention.

With this Special Issue, ‘Early-Life Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders in Later Life’, we would like to advance our knowledge on how early post-natal nutrition can predispose to metabolic disorders. We encourage the submission of original research and review articles that cover the gaps of knowledge on the importance of diet in pre-term and full-term newborns for long-term metabolism.  

We expect this Special Issue will raise a major interest in view of the worrying worldwide double burden of malnutrition. We are looking forward to receiving your contributions and will be pleased to answer queries you might have regarding article submission.

Prof. Dr. Valerie Verhasselt
Dr. Lieke van den Elsen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

 

Keywords

  • Early nutrition
  • Human milk
  • Dietary supplements
  • Growth
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Undernutrition
  • Obesity
  • Microbiota
  • Immune dysregulation
  • Double burden of malnutrition

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
DHA Supplementation of Obese Rats throughout Pregnancy and Lactation Modifies Milk Composition and Anxiety Behavior of Offspring
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4243; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13124243 - 26 Nov 2021
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Abstract
We investigated if supplementing obese mothers (MO) with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves milk long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) composition and offspring anxiety behavior. From weaning throughout pregnancy and lactation, female Wistar rats ate chow (C) or a high-fat diet (MO). One month before [...] Read more.
We investigated if supplementing obese mothers (MO) with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) improves milk long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) composition and offspring anxiety behavior. From weaning throughout pregnancy and lactation, female Wistar rats ate chow (C) or a high-fat diet (MO). One month before mating and through lactation, half the mothers received 400 mg DHA kg−1 d−1 orally (C+DHA or MO+DHA). Offspring ate C after weaning. Maternal weight, total body fat, milk hormones, and milk nutrient composition were determined. Pups’ milk nutrient intake was evaluated, and behavioral anxiety tests were conducted. MO exhibited increased weight and total fat, and higher milk corticosterone, leptin, linoleic, and arachidonic acid (AA) concentrations, and less DHA content. MO male and female offspring had higher ω-6/ ω-3 milk consumption ratios. In the elevated plus maze, female but not male MO offspring exhibited more anxiety. MO+DHA mothers exhibited lower weight, total fat, milk leptin, and AA concentrations, and enhanced milk DHA. MO+DHA offspring had a lower ω-6/ω-3 milk intake ratio and reduced anxiety vs. MO. DHA content was greater in C+DHA milk vs. C. Supplementing MO mothers with DHA improves milk composition, especially LCPUFA content and ω-6/ω-3 ratio reducing offspring anxiety in a sex-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early-Life Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders in Later Life)
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Article
Association of Nutrition in Early Childhood with Body Composition and Leptin in Later Childhood and Early Adulthood
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3264; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13093264 - 18 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Objectives: Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), this study aimed to replicate the finding of the Etude Longitudinale Alimentation Nutrition Croissance des Enfants (ELANCE) that low fat intake in early childhood was associated with increased adiposity in [...] Read more.
Objectives: Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), this study aimed to replicate the finding of the Etude Longitudinale Alimentation Nutrition Croissance des Enfants (ELANCE) that low fat intake in early childhood was associated with increased adiposity in adulthood. Methods: Diet was assessed at 8 and 18 months using 3-day food records. Body composition variables were measured at 9 and 17 years, and serum leptin at 9 years. Associations were modelled using adjusted linear regression. Results: In replication analyses, in contrast to ELANCE, there was a positive association between fat intake (% energy) at 18 months and fat mass (FM) at 9 years (B coefficient 0.10 (95% CI 0.03, 0.20) kg, p = 0.005). There was no association with serum leptin. In extended analyses fat intake at 18 months was positively associated with FM in boys (0.2 (0.00, 0.30), p = 0.008) at 9 years but not in girls. Fat intake was positively associated with serum leptin concentration in boys (0.2 (0.1, 0.4) ng/mL, p = 0.011) but not in girls. Conclusions: Our results did not corroborate the findings from the ELANCE study. A high fat diet in early life may have implications for later childhood and adolescent obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early-Life Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders in Later Life)
Article
Gut Microbiome Composition and Metabolic Status Are Differently Affected by Early Exposure to Unhealthy Diets in a Rat Model
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3236; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13093236 - 17 Sep 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
Childhood is a critical stage of development during which diet can have profound influence on the microbiota–host interactions, leading to potentially lifelong impacts. This study aimed to investigate whether the consumption of cafeteria diet (CAFD) and sugary drinks during early rat life alters [...] Read more.
Childhood is a critical stage of development during which diet can have profound influence on the microbiota–host interactions, leading to potentially lifelong impacts. This study aimed to investigate whether the consumption of cafeteria diet (CAFD) and sugary drinks during early rat life alters the structure of the gut microbial community and the metabolic activity. Four-week-old male Wistar rats (n = 27) were fed a standard chow diet with ad libitum access to water (CD) or to sucrose solution (HSD), and a third group was fed with CAFD and a sucrose solution for 14 weeks. HSD and CAFD consumption induced alterations in Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia. HSD increased the abundance of Barnesiella, whereas CAFD induced a depletion of Saccharibacteria. CAFD increased total white adipose tissue (WAT) weight (p < 0.0005) compared to CD. When CAFD was compared to HSD, a significant difference was found only for retroperitoneal WAT (p < 0.0005). Unhealthy diet-fed groups presented higher glucose (p < 0.0005), total cholesterol and creatinine serum levels (p < 0.005) compared to the CD rats. Early-life consumption of HSD, and of CAFD even more so, can have long-lasting negative effects on metabolic function. The gut microbiota communities were distinctively perturbed by diet composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early-Life Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders in Later Life)
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Article
Maternal DHA Supplementation during Pregnancy and Lactation in the Rat Protects the Offspring against High-Calorie Diet-Induced Hepatic Steatosis
Nutrients 2021, 13(9), 3075; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13093075 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 872
Abstract
Maternal supplementation during pregnancy with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is internationally recommended to avoid postpartum maternal depression in the mother and improve cognitive and neurological outcomes in the offspring. This study was aimed at determining whether this nutritional intervention, in the rat, protects the [...] Read more.
Maternal supplementation during pregnancy with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is internationally recommended to avoid postpartum maternal depression in the mother and improve cognitive and neurological outcomes in the offspring. This study was aimed at determining whether this nutritional intervention, in the rat, protects the offspring against the development of obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. Pregnant Wistar rats received an extract of fish oil enriched in DHA or saline (SAL) as placebo by mouth from the beginning of gestation to the end of lactation. At weaning, pups were fed standard chow or a free-choice, high-fat, high-sugar (fc-HFHS) diet. Compared to animals fed standard chow, rats exposed to the fc-HFHS diet exhibited increased body weight, liver weight, body fat and leptin in serum independently of saline or DHA maternal supplementation. Nevertheless, maternal DHA supplementation prevented both the glucose intolerance and the rise in serum insulin resulting from consumption of the fc-HFHS diet. In addition, animals from the DHA-fc-HFHS diet group showed decreased hepatic triglyceride accumulation compared to SAL-fc-HFHS rats. The beneficial effects on glucose homeostasis declined with age in male rats. Yet, the preventive action against hepatic steatosis was still present in 6-month-old animals of both sexes and was associated with decreased hepatic expression of lipogenic genes. The results of the present work show that maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy programs a healthy phenotype into the offspring that was protective against the deleterious effects of an obesogenic diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early-Life Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders in Later Life)
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Review

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Review
Early Enteral Feeding in Preterm Infants: A Narrative Review of the Nutritional, Metabolic, and Developmental Benefits
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2289; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13072289 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1328
Abstract
Enteral feeding is the preferred method of nutrient provision for preterm infants. Though parenteral nutrition remains an alternative to provide critical nutrition after preterm delivery, the literature suggests that enteral feeding still confers significant nutritional and non-nutritional benefits. Therefore, the purpose of this [...] Read more.
Enteral feeding is the preferred method of nutrient provision for preterm infants. Though parenteral nutrition remains an alternative to provide critical nutrition after preterm delivery, the literature suggests that enteral feeding still confers significant nutritional and non-nutritional benefits. Therefore, the purpose of this narrative review is to summarize health and clinical benefits of early enteral feeding within the first month of life in preterm infants. Likewise, this review also proposes methods to improve enteral delivery in clinical care, including a proposal for decision-making of initiation and advancement of enteral feeding. An extensive literature review assessed enteral studies in preterm infants with subsequent outcomes. The findings support the early initiation and advancement of enteral feeding impact preterm infant health by enhancing micronutrient delivery, promoting intestinal development and maturation, stimulating microbiome development, reducing inflammation, and enhancing brain growth and neurodevelopment. Clinicians must consider these short- and long-term implications when caring for preterm infants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early-Life Nutrition and Metabolic Disorders in Later Life)
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